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STACY LONDON TURNS A CRITICAL EYE ON HERSELF

THE BALTIMORE SUN

As co-host of the TLC series "What Not to Wear," Stacy London has a national reputation for defining fashion trends, and helping people develop their own personal style. The 40-year-old style expert regularly appears on NBC's "Today" show and is a contributing editor for People magazine.

Last weekend, she traveled to Baltimore to host Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation's Benefit and Auction.

London often talks about others' style choices. But what about her own? At the benefit, she wore a black Shoshanna dress, copper metallic Lanvin pumps and an Alexis Bittar pewter resin bangle bracelet and oyster resin earrings. But, she informed us, this was only half her style personality.

QUESTION: : Can you describe this "dual" personality?

ANSWER: : The wardrobe I wear on "What Not to Wear" is a little bit more tailored and conservative. ... In my personal life, I'm going more harder-edged. [I like] designers like Rick Owens, Balenciaga and Martin Margiela.

QUESTION: : Do you gravitate toward certain colors?

ANSWER: : In real life, I'm going no-color, [wearing] more neutrals. I guess that's because of turning 40. ... I feel a little stronger in them, more edgy. Color is good for TV; it's very youthful. For me, I want to look good for my age, not like I'm chasing my youth. ...

QUESTION: : What are your current fashion passions?

ANSWER: : Leather. I'm also into Stella McCartney jumpsuits. I ended up with this awesome see-through sequined one. It has nude sequins, so it shimmers like fish scales. It's divine. ... I have been on a shoe rampage. The latest purchases? The cinnamon suede lug sole 6-inch heel ankle boot with a lace-up front from [Yves] Saint Laurent. I just bought white snakeskin 5-inch ankle boots from Elizabeth and James. I bought two pairs of [Christian] Louboutin 12-centimeter platforms. ... And finally, the over-the-knee - it's called the "Hiho"- from Stuart Weitzman.

QUESTION: : Where did your flair for fashion come from?

ANSWER: : My mother takes credit [for my style]. She let me wear only purple until I was 5, allowing me to express myself. ... I wanted to be a cocktail waitress because it was the only way I knew of [an adult woman] wearing fishnets and sparkly things.

QUESTION: : You're known for setting fashion rules for others. What about fashion rules for yourself?

ANSWER: : I have pretty much an hourglass frame. ... So I have to emphasize my waist and camouflage my hips. I tend to have thicker arms, so I have to pay attention to what sleeves I wear.

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